The Infiltrators

still from The Infiltrators
Maynor Alvarado and Manuel Uriza appear in The Infiltrators by Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera, an official selection of NEXT program at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Lisa Rinzler.

OCT 30 – Wednesday – 7pm | Rubenstein Arts Center, Duke
Dir. Alex Rivera, Cristina Ibarra (Co-producer Sarah Garrahan). USA. 2019. 95 min. English and Spanish / with English subtitles

Followed by a Q&A producer Sarah Garrahan.
Without warning, Claudio Rojas is detained by ICE officials outside his Florida home. He is transferred to the Broward Transitional Center, a detention facility used as a holding space for imminent deportations. Terrified of never seeing him again, Claudio’s family contacts the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA), a group of activist Dreamers known for stopping deportations. Believing that no one is free as long as one is in detention, NIYA enlists Marco Saavedra to self-deport with the hopes of gaining access to the detention center and impeding Claudio’s expulsion. Once inside, Marco discovers a complex for-profit institution housing hundreds of multinational immigrants, all imprisoned without trial.

See: How Undocumented Activists Snuck Into Immigration Jail to Fight Deportations | Democracy Now (March 4, 2019)

An immigrant rights activist has been detained in Florida just weeks after he appeared in an acclaimed film at the Sundance Film Festival about activists infiltrating and exposing for-profit immigrant detention jails. Claudio Rojas was apprehended on Wednesday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement after an annual check-in and is now being held at Krome Detention Center, where he faces immediate deportation. His lawyer says his arrest is linked to the film featuring his activism. It’s called “The Infiltrators.” The gripping hybrid documentary/dramatic feature was a smash success at Sundance and will play at the Miami Film Festival Tuesday. But Claudio Rojas will not be there to see it. “The Infiltrators” is based on the incredible true story of undocumented immigrants who purposely got themselves arrested by federal authorities in order to infiltrate the Broward Transitional Center in Florida and organize the detainees within its walls. Democracy Now! spoke with the film’s co-director, Alex Rivera, and two activists featured in the film, Viridiana Martinez and Mohammad Abdollahi, at the Sundance Film Festival.

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